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Revamped, Retooled, Renewed

7 Jan

This is my first post to this blog in over 2 years! I created this site while I was a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a space to share my testimony of the gospel. When I got home, I let the site sit as it was, a shrine to my time in the New York Rochester Mission. But why should it just sit there? Just because I’m not a full-time missionary anymore doesn’t mean that I don’t have a testimony of Jesus Christ, or that I have nothing uplifting to share. So I’ve done some revamping of the site and I now plan to share regular tidbits from my personal study of the gospel.

I’ve been planning to do this retooling for a while, and it’s purely coincidence that it happened around the start of the new year. But while we’re here, let’s make a lesson out of it.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor of the First Presidency of the Church, shared the following in a recent article:

dieter-f-uchtdorf-largeI love getting a new computer with a clean hard drive. For a time it works perfectly. But as the days and weeks pass by and more and more programs get installed (some intentional, some not so intentional), eventually the computer begins to stall, and things it used to do quickly and efficiently become sluggish. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all. Even getting it to start can become a chore as the hard drive becomes cluttered with miscellaneous chaos and electronic debris. There are times when the only recourse is to reformat the computer and start over.

Human beings can likewise become cluttered with fears, doubts, and burdensome guilt. The mistakes we have made (both intentional and unintentional) can weigh upon us until it may seem hard to do what we know we should.

In the case of sin, there is a wonderful reformatting process called repentance that allows us to clear our internal hard drives of the clutter that burdens our hearts. The gospel, through the miraculous and compassionate Atonement of Jesus Christ, shows us the way to cleanse our souls of the stain of sin and once again become new, pure, and as innocent as a child.

That, to me, is the essential beauty of the gospel message. No matter how cluttered our hearts become, no matter how muddled our priorities, no matter how stained our past, we can be renewed through the cleansing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. And we don’t have to wait for a new year to start again. Every day is a fresh cycle of the earth around the sun. Every hour is a fresh sweep of the hand around the clock. Even every moment is a fresh breath that can start us on a new path through this life. We don’t have to stay cluttered, muddled, or stained. Heavenly Father has given us infinite opportunities to make the right choices. And every single right choice brings us greater happiness and peace because it brings us closer to Him.

Happy 2014!

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